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Key Capitol Hill Hearings

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Mr. Reid 20, Us 18, Mr. Adegbile 9, United States Senate 7, U.s. 6, Pennsylvania 5, Naacp 5, Stacey 5, California 4, Washington 4, Florida 3, Chuck Hagel 3, Collins 3, William Perry 3, Dick Cheney 3, Virginia 3, Comcast 2, The Senate 2, United States 2, Unquote 2,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Speeches from policy makers and  
   coverage from around the country.  

    March 5, 2014
    6:00 - 8:01pm EST  

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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there
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any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 58, the nays are 41, the nomination is agreed to. under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form prior to the cloture vote. who yields time? time is yielded back. the presiding officer: who yields time in support of the nomination? the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: parliamentary inquiry. i understand the republican side has yielded their time back?
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the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. who yields time? the senator is correct. the time in opposition is yielded back. mr. menendez: i will yield back our time. the presiding officer: all time having been yielded back, by unanimous consent, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of
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rose eileen gottemoeller of virginia to be under secretary of state for arms control and international security, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of rose eileen gottemoeller of virginia to be under secretary of state for arms control and international security shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 55, the nays are 45. the motion to invoke cloture is agreed to. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the clerk will report the nomination.
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the clerk: rose eilene gottemoeller of virginia to be under secretary of state for arms control and international security. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that with respect to the nominations confirmed today the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table and the president immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reid: further, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that following morning business on thursday, that's tomorrow, march 6, the time until 11:20 a.m. be equally divided between the majority leader and the republican leader or their designees, that at 11:20 the senate proceed to vote on the confirmation of calendar number 636, rose eilene gottemoeller to be under secretary of state, following disposition of got mealer nomination, the senate treed proceed to vote on 510 and 511,
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there be two minutes prior to each vote equally divided in the usual form and after the first vote be 10 minutes in length and the motion to reconsider considered made and laid on the table with no intervening, that no further motions be in order to any of the nominations and that president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, we've laid out tomorrow in some degree, and we have other things to do tomorrow. if we have some cooperation from both sides, we can finish sometime midafternoon. otherwise it could be a while. i now ask unanimous consent the time to be determined by me and with the concurrence of senator mcconnell the senate proceed to consideration of calendar numbers 309 -- 809, s. 1086, further that the cloture motion filed and thursday, february 27 with respect to the motion to proceed be withdrawn. this is the childcare block
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grant legislation. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: yes, mr. president, i forgot. i ask unanimous consent that following -- right now, that senator harkin be recognized, senator collins to follow after him and then senator boxer after senator collins. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: earlier today, a vote was taken in the united states senate that to this senator marked about the lowest point that i think this senate has descended to in my 30 years here. i don't say that lightly. i was here during the impeachment process, trial for president clinton. i kind of thought that was a
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sham. but that didn't compare to what happened today. the vote on debo adegbile to be assistant attorney general for civil rights sent a strong message. here's the message we sent tod today. you young people, listen you. -- you young people, listen up. if you are a young white person and you go to work for a law firm. you're a lawyer, sworn in to the ball, you go to work for a law firm. you're a white person. and that law firm defends you to a pro bono case to defend someone who killed eight people in cold blood and they assign you to defend that person. my advice from this, what happened today, is you should do that. it's part of your legal
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obligation, part of your profession. because if you do that, who knows, you might wind up to be the chief justice of the united states supreme court. however, if you are a young black person and you go to work for the naacp legal defense fund and they assign you under your obligations as an attorney, in keeping with your oath of office, they assign you to appeal a case of someone who committed a heinous murder and you do that and you sign your name on the appeal -- not that you're defending this person, you've never done that, but they've asked you to sign on an appeal and you do that. and you're asked to do that.
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if you're a young black person, you work for the naacp legal defense fund and you're asked to sign an appeal for someone convicted of murder. what the message said today is don't do it. don't do it. because you know what? if you do that, in keeping with your legal obligations and your profession, you will be denied by the u.s. senate from being attorney in the u.s. department of justice. i guess what i'm saying is we sent a message we have a double standard, a terrible double standard. the chief justice of the supreme court defended a mass murderer in nor florida, committed eight murders -- mass murderer in florida, committed eight murders. he's the chief justice of the supreme court. did we hear one peep from the republican side, from anyone?
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no one on this senate floor at that time ever raised that as any issue at all for his qualifications to be a judge on the appeals court or to be the chief justice of the supreme court. and rightfully so. it should never have been an issue. he was fulfilling his legal obligations. yes, his moral duty, aside from his legal duty. but debo adegbile, working as an attorney for the naacp legal defense fund, he wasn't even asked to defend a murderer. he was just asked to join on an appeal, to sign an appeal on a technicality and he did. and because of that -- and only because of that -- he was excoriated here on the senate floor and denied -- denied -- his opportunity to be an assistant attorney general for civil rights.
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did anyone raise an issue of his qualifications? no. he's eminently qualified. put person after person talked about the heinous murder that took place in philadelphia, the murder of a police officer by yet another -- by a young black man who had bragged about it, a heinous crime, horrible crime. debo adegbile didn't defend him, didn't even know this guy and yet -- and yet i listened to the senator from pennsylvania this morning, had a big poster here with a picture of the police officer and his wife on their wedding day, talking about how horrible a crime this was, how the murderer had bragged about it and all that. terrible stuff. had nothing to do with debo adegbile, but the senator from pennsylvania said, that's why he should not be approved to be an
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assistant attorney general, because he signed an appeal. what about that guy sitting over there, the chief justice of the supreme court, defended a person who killed eight people? maybe we should institute a -- an impeachment process? maybe that's what we ought to do. let's -- maybe my friends on the republican side did not know this about john roberts, that he had defended a mass murderer. maybe that's what we've got to do, bring up an impeachment process. let's impeach the chief justice because he had fulfilled his legal obligation to defend a murderer. well, i hope that you see the ridiculousness of that argument. and how unfair it was for debo adegbile to be denied this not
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only basis of any qualifications. i've not heard one person say he's unqualified or that he's done something -- something that was disqualify him. no. he did what he was supposed to do within his legal profession and denied. shame, shame on this senate. shame on every senator who claims to be a lawyer, who went to law school, raised their hand and sworn into the bar. shame on every lawyer who voted against mr. adegbile because of what he did on that appeal. because of the fact that he had signed on the appeal. now, if somebody had some question about his qualifications, that he's totally unqualified for this, that's a different story. that's a different story. i challenge anyone to come
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forward with anything remotel remotely -- remotely -- connected to his qualifications that would show him disqualified. let me read -- and i'll close shortly -- a quote from james soken, the president of the american bar association. listen up, lawyers. quote -- "a fundamental tenet of our justice system and our constitution is that anyone who faces loss of liberty has a right to legal counsel. lawyers have an ethical obligation to uphold that principle and provide zealous representation to people who otherwise would stand alone against the power and resources of the government. even to those accused or convicted of terrible crimes. i was alarmed to learn that there is some opposition to mr. adegbile's nomination based solely on his efforts to protect the fundamental rights of an
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unpopular client while working at the legal defense fund. his work, like the work of a.b.a. members who provide thousands of hours of pro bono legal services every year, is consistent with the finest tradition of this country's legal profession and should be commended, not condemned." shameful. shameful vote today. a rush to judgment based upon emotion. based upon emotion. i will not name any names but i had one senator say, my head tells me that -- that he should be confirmed but my guts, my emotions say no. we make our decisions based on that around here? god help us. god help us. maybe -- maybe we ought to all go back and watch that movie again, "to kill a mockingbird." read the book, watch the movie. and know what it is to stand up
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against the powers of the government and defend someone who's unpopular. hm. and mr. adegbile didn't even do that. he was not the defense attorney. he was only on an appeal. so shame on the fraternal order of police. shame on them. and i've been one of their strong supporters for my 30 years here, but shame on them for doing this. shame on them. they mounted a campaign against mr. adegbile just on that one thing. shame on all of us here, especially the lawyers, especially the lawyers. well, it was a rush to judgment, a shameful episode in the history of the united states senate. i know that senator reid filed a motion to reconsider. i hope we will. and i hope people will pray on this and think back, especially
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the lawyers who are here, think about -- think about the ethical obligation, the ethical obligation he had to do what he did. and he did nothing wrong. hopefully mr. adegbile on a motion to reconsider will have the votes to take his position as assistant attorney general for civil rights in the justice department. a shameful day for the united states senate. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. first let me thank my colleague from california for allowing me to precede her in speaking on the senate floor this evening. i very much appreciate her courtesy. mr. president, i rise to introduce the taxpayer
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protection act of 2014. this bill would require the independent i.r.s. oversight board to better fulfill its obligation to protect the constitutional rights of american taxpayers. mr. president, the history of the i.r.s. offers abundant examples of the agency trampling on those rights. in the most recent controversy, the i.r.s. subjected applications from conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status to heighten scrutiny. delaying these groups' applications suggests an effort to chill the constitutional right of speech and association
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by groups that hold conservative views. the details that have emerged are trouble alarming. the i.r.s. has admitted that it deliberately targeted conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status for extra review if they included such words as "tea party," "patriots," "912" in their names. or if they criticized how this country is being run. or if their purpose were to address government spending, government debt, taxes, or simply to make america a better place. incredible, mr. president. these inappropriate criteria stayed in place for more than 18
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months and resulted in substantial delays in processing the applications of many different groups. in some cases, the applications remained outstanding for more than two years. the i.r.s. also sought to compel some of the targeted groups to divulge their membership lists. i.r.s. officials have subsequently admitted that there was absolutely no reason for agency personnel to have sought that kind of information. such behavior, unfortunately, is not a one-time aberration. a may 2013 "time" magazine article notes that the i.r.s. has been involved in scandals going back at least as far as the kennedy administration,
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which used the service to investigate so-called right-wing groups. president nixon employed a secret i.r.s. operation to investigate and audit political opponents. during the johnson administration, the i.r.s. targeted antiwar activists. in the decades since, civil rights groups, political activists from both the conservative and the liberal ends of the spectrum and whistle-blowers have been subjected to intimidating and discriminatory scrutiny by the i.r.s.. mr. president, in 1997, the senate finance committee held three days of hearings that were instigated by reports of i.r.s.
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abuses. one type of abuse was the so-called blue sky assessment, which then-committee chairman william roth characterized agents making tax assessments that had no basis in fact or law and were in some instances simply levied to hurt the taxpayer. some witnesses had to have their identities concealed out of fear of retaliation for their testimony. as witness number one, an i.r.s. agent, stated, "the abuse of the tax-paying public occurs when the i.r.s. improperly and sometimes illegally uses its vast power in the process of implementing some type of enforcement of the tax laws.." this agent went on to note that
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it wasn't the i.r.s. code that abused taxpayers, but rather how it was being implemented in an unfair, intimidating and discriminatory way. i note these 1997 hearings in particular because they republican sided with an effort to reform the i.r.s., culminating in the i.r.s. restructuring and reform act. that law made a number of changes to the structure of the i.r.s. and the manner in which it administers the tax laws. one such reform was the creation of the i.r.s. oversight board. by law, the board is charged with ensuring that taxpayers are treated properly by the i.r.s. and the board is designed to be independent of the agency.
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of the required nine members, seven must be senate-confirmed appointees who have professional experience or expertise in business and tax administration. the i.r.s. reform act also requires that i.r.s. employees be terminated for violating the constitutional rights of taxpayers. now, mr. president, the current i.r.s. scandal was not, however, brought to light by this i.r.s. oversight board. instead, the abuses came to the public's and our attention through a may 2013 report by the treasury inspector general for tax administration. following the release of the inspector general's report, the oversight board released a
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statement saying that it would work with the i.r.s. and the i.g., among others, to meet its statutory responsibility to protect taxpayers. mr. president, that's the whole purpose of this board, and i believe it should do much more than just work with the i.r.s. officials and the i.g.. so my bill would strengthen its oversight role by requiring reporting to congress. my bill would ensure that the existing laws which are rooted in the response to prior i.r.s. scandals work as they should. it would require the oversight board to report to congress each and every year on allegations of abuse of taxpayers' constitutional rights, on the number of employees who were
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terminated for such violations, on why employees against whom allegations were raised were not terminated and on the effectiveness of internal controls, if any, that the i.r.s. has put in place to prevent the unfair targeting of taxpayers. mr. president, the i.r.s.'s history of abuses demonstrates that congress must be ever vigilant in protecting taxpayers. the agency's powers allow it to pervade the most sensitive aspects of americans' private lives. irrespective of whether those singled out are liberal or conservative, democrats or republicans, independents or
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green party members, irrespective of their personal views, the targeting of private citizens for exercising their first amendment rights is way out of bound. it is illegal behavior and cannot be tolerated. mr. president, it has been said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. the american people cannot and will not tolerate any abuse of that power. i urge my colleagues to join me in cosponsoring this bill and let us pass it to help protect the most fundamental rights guaranteed by our constitution against abuse by government's
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ability to tax. thank you, mr. president. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i was very interested in listening to both my colleagues, tom harkin, who i thought was very, very passionate about the need to understand that when people do pro bono work, as justice roberts did, or they work for an organization, as our nominee did, that is making the case that a jury was perhaps tainted, that that not be used against them. i think he was passionate. i think senator collins makes a good point. i do want to say that she's totally right. the i.r.s. should never ever, ever be used politically.
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and we have gone through that in our lifetime, and it's absolutely wrong. so i agree with that. but i also want to point out that any organization that is taking big tax deductions that cost people money but they're really political, whether they're on the left, the right, or the center, they have to stop what they're doing too. so i think she points out that it's a careful balance. we also don't want members of congress to intimidate the i.r.s.. that's wrong. you know, and harass them. so it is a very careful balance. i'm looking forward to looking at her bill to see if this oversight commission is something that would be free from politics. that, to me, is the key. i.r.s. should never be used politically. now, mr. president, i rise today in strong support of the
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military justice improvement act, and i'm so proud to stand with, frankly, 17 out of the 20 women members of this senate on both sides of the aisle and with a very large number of colleagues from both sides, a majority, to fight for real change in the way our military addresses the epidemic of military sexual assault. you know, one of the things when you're in washington for awhile -- and i've been in washington for awhile, thanks to the good people of california. i went to the house in 1982, was elected in 1982, took my seat in 1983. and i've seen this issue get worse and worse. this issue is not new, sexual assault in the military. unfortunately, it's decades old. it was 23 years ago that dozens of women and men were sexually
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harassed and assaulted in the halls after las vegas hotel during the tailhook annual convention. the 1991 tailhook scandal focused a national spotlight on the issue of military sexual assault and then-secretary of defense dick cheney declared, after it was over, a zero tolerance policy. now, i have to be completely blunt with everybody who may be listening to this. the fact is after tailhook and all of these promises from everybody, i really thought we would never see this epidemic grow as it has. i thought we stopped that epidemic of sexual assault in the military, because it was heinous to see what they did and everyone said it would be over. but let's take a look at how many secretaries of defense made a pledge on this. we'll start -- we'll start from the bottom and work our way up to the top.
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so, as i said, secretary cheney said in 1993, "well, we've got a major effort underway to try to educate everybody to let them know that we've got a zero-tolerance policy where sexual harassment is involved." so a real commitment from then-defense secretary cheney. well, the next year it was secretary william perry. he said "for all reasons, therefore, we have zero tolerance for sexual harassment." that he said in 1996. then it was secretary william cohen. he said in 1997, "i intend to enforce the strict policy of zero tolerance of hazing, of sexual harassment and of racism." now you move to donald rumsfeld in 2004.
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sexual assault will not be tolerated by the department of defense. beautiful words but i think to those who are listening, nothing will stop this epidemic. democrat secretaries of defense, republican secretaries of defense, it doesn't matter. then you've got robert gates who served republican and democrats. what does he say? this is a matter of grave concern. i have zero tolerance for sexual assault. leon panetta under bill clinton, "we have absolutely no tolerance for any form of sexual assault. i take these allegations seriously. we have no place in the military for sexual assault." and then current secretary under president obama, chuck hagel, "it's not good enough to say we have a zero-tolerance policy. we do. but what does it mean? how does that translate into changing anything? i want to know. these crimes have no place, no place in the greatest military on earth." we all agree with that, but here's what this shows you. just look at this. one, two, three, four, five,
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six, seven secretaries of defense, republicans and democrats over all these years, the first one being dick cheney in 1992. they've all promised zero tolerance. and the problem of sexual assault in the military gets worse and worse and worse. so, senator gillibrand has issued a call to action. she's written a terrific bill working with republicans and democrats. and we're getting a vote on that bill tomorrow, assuming we can break a filibuster. because there is a filibuster, and we have to file cloture, and we need a supermajority of 60 in order to get to an up-or-down vote. so, these promises, to me, ring
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hollow. i like so many of these people. i've worked with so many of them. they're good people. they care. but i've got to tell you, these words are hollow. hollow. we have to change the way we deal with sexual assault in the military, and that's what this vote is about tomorrow. but we have to break a filibuster. now, here's what has happened to those who have come forward, and i'm going to show you some charts and show you how few do come forward. instead of justice, sexual assault survivors have faced retaliation, victimization and further abuse. instead of justice, survivors have been kicked out of the military while their attackers go unpunished. now let me share some deeply troubling statistics that speak to the scope of this problem. we're going to look at this chart 3.
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26,000 cases of sexual assault occurred in the u.s. military in 2012. 1.2% were prosecuted. mr. president, i know how deeply you care about this. you were responsible for protecting justice for the people of connecticut. what if you had a range of cases and only 1.2% were prosecuted? you would, i'm sure, admit that something was very wrong. of course, your record was stellar. the point i'm making is how can anyone defend this status quo and yet we have a group of people here in the senate who are defending the status quo. yes, they are making changes around the edges. i give them that, very happy with that, but they are not getting to the root cause of the
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problem, which is who decides whether she is cases go forward? who is the decider? and that's why the gillibrand amendment is so critical. so i want people to keep this chart in their mind. these are all the assault, and this is the number, 1.2%, that were prosecuted. now, that means of the estimated 26,000 sexual assaults, only 302 were prosecuted. so keep that in mind. 26,000 sexual assaults in the military, only 302 were prosecuted. now, let me give you another troubling figure. one in five female service members reported experiencing unwanted sexual conduct while serving in the military. one in five female service
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members reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact while serving in the military. there's something wrong with the culture there. this is -- these women are putting their lives on the line. and what do they get for it? one in five is experiencing unwanted sexual contact. and by the way, many of the men are, too, but we have this statistic we wanted to share. now, what is this misconduct that these women, one out of five in the military, mr. president, are facing, unwanted sexual contact? this means they are either experiencing rape, sexual assault, and unwanted sexual contact while serving in the military. but they don't report it because they're too scared, and that's why the gillibrand bill is so critical and that's why we need to make sure that we defeat that
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filibuster, because you can't and shouldn't filibuster justice, mr. president. let's get an up-or-down vote. how many more women and men will become victims of these heinous crimes before we take action? 20 years the military has had to deal with this. now, i'm a fairly patient person. i wasn't -- before i got into politics, i wasn't a patient person. then i got into politics and i realized, yes, change takes time. you have to be patient. you have to work hard. you have to make the case. you have to pile up your statistics. you have to make sure you have your facts, and then take action. 20 years of doing nothing? 20 years of commitments from all of these people, mr. president? richard cheney, william perry,
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william cohen, donald rumsfeld, robert gates, leon panetta, chuck hagel, it doesn't matter whether they are republican or democrat, they all say the same thing. they're going to stop this heinous situation, and they don't because they can't. look, we need to listen to survivors. survivors who are going to solve the crisis of sexual assault in the military because they're going to solve it because they're going to speak up, and they have. excuse me. survivors are telling us that the only way to stop this horrible epidemic of sexual assault is to take the decision about whether to prosecute serious crimes like sexual assault out of the hands of the commanders, give it to the
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professional, trained military prosecutors outside the chain of command. now, there are many people who misconstrue this and they think we're' going to take it completely outside the military structure. that is not what we do. what we do is we say the professionals should deal with this. right now, you have to report to your commander. now, we would never allow the c.e.o. of a corporation to make the decision about whether one of his or her employees should be prosecuted for rape. mr. president, if something happened in our office and someone came to you or to me and said something horrible has happened upstairs and we think somebody raped someone else, we wouldn't decide whether to prosecute.
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we would go right to the police, right to the police. and that's all we're saying, those of us who support senator gillibrand. we're saying that these legal decisions should be made by independent, experienced legal experts so that the decision to go to trial is a fair one, it is objective, it is based on the evidence. and by the way, that helps all sides, the accuser and the accused. as a matter of fact, we have some people on our bill that are worried that the accused may not get a fair trial if we don't change things because there has been so much publicity about this. there has been a defense advisory committee on women in the services which has advised the secretary of defense for over 60 years. that commission overwhelmingly supports this reform, arguing that the authority of the
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commanders in deciding whether to prosecute these cases -- quote -- poses an inherent conflict of interest, unquote. now, it's so obvious. of course it's a conflict of interest. if the commander is facing the situation. remember, we're talking about people that put their lives on the line, and the commander, let's say, is in a circumstance where he doesn't want to lose one of these guys who is, let's say, a very good fighter. he's got a conflict right there. he may be friends with the guy or the gal, whoever the accused is. we have got to take this away from the commander and let them focus on what they need to do, and we have been told by many commanders they would welcome this, even though the top brass is squashing it and fighting hard against this. why? why are they fighting against this when for 20 years they
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claim they want to solve the problem? now, let's listen to retired military officers like lieutenant general claudia kennedy. the very first female three-star general in the army, this is what she said -- "if military leadership hasn't fixed the problem in my lifetime, it's not going to be fixed without a change to the status quo. the imbalance of power and authority held by commanders in dealing with sexual assaults must be corrected. there has to be independent oversight over what is happening." and then we had a situation where a woman was put up for a position. this is amazing. dr. joanne rooney, nominated to be under secretary of the navy. she was asked -- "in your view, what would be the impact of requiring a judge advocate outside the chain of command to determine whether allegation of sexual assault should be prosecuted?" mr. president, do you know what she said? this is what she said should
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happen if the gillibrand bill passed. she said -- "i believe the impact would be decisions based on evidence rather than the interest of preserving good order and discipline." and she is against the gillibrand bill because she puts good order and discipline over justice. and then she says i believe this would result in fewer prosecutions and therefore defeat the very problem that i understand it seeks to address. many of us have said we're not going to let a vote come up on this later. we have been very open about it. she is complaining that if we pass the gillibrand bill, the decision would be based on the evidence rather than on the good old boy system. i don't get it. we need to listen to our allies like israel, canada, the united kingdom, australia. they have successfully made this change. now, i want to say very clearly
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none of us in this body should filibuster justice. and i have a very strong chart here. i'm going to keep this up. don't filibuster justice. that's what we're facing. we have people who were going to vote to filibuster the gillibrand bill and not allow a vote on it. while they will vote not to filibuster the mccaskill bill. i say don't filibuster either of these bills. vote yes on both. both are good. but it's only the gillibrand bill that will make sure that this system that is resulting in a disastrous record of prosecutions and a disastrous record of people, 90% of the people don't report, isn't that true? 90% of the people don't report
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that they are scared. these are men, these are women. if you don't report, you can't have justice. for over a year, survivors of military sexual assault have been walking the halls of congress and calling for these vicious crimes to be decided outside the chain of command. in other words, they support s. 1752. they don't want us to filibuster s. 1752. they don't want us to filibuster justice. these brave men and women, they deserve an up-or-down vote on the gillibrand bill. they don't deserve the filibuster. that is wrong. they don't deserve two more decades of broken promises. we should be humble in their presence, humble in their presence. you know, i hear people stand up and say oh, this is terrible, it would be terrible, it would be awful. wait a minute. why don't you ask the people who
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have been raped. why don't you ask the people who downsized that. why don't you ask the people who didn't -- did not report because they are scared to death of the commander. i'm telling you we need to give these brave survivors what they deserve, an up-or-down vote on legislation that will fix our broken military justice system, and i want to tell you a couple of stories if you are not convinced just by the numbers. i want to put a face on it. so let's put up stacey's face. this is -- this is the story of stacey thompson who is a californian. i stood next to her and i literally held her hand when she first told the story publicly. stacey was drugged and brutally raped by a male sergeant in december, 1999, while she was stationed in okinawa, japan.
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she did what she was supposed to do. she reported the rape to her superiors. her allegations were swept under the rug. her attacker was allowed to leave the marine corps without ever facing trial. do you hear what i say? he was allowed to leave the marine corps where he went home and probably continued his activities of raping. but stacey, what happened to stacey? she became the target of a drug investigation stemming from the night of her rape because her attacker drugged her, drugged her that night and left her on the ground. and she was forced out of the marine corps with -- well, actually, she was forced out of the marine corps with an other than honorable discharge, she
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was. stacey told me she still struggles with the emotional and psychological effects of being raped, and she is fighting to have her discharge upgraded so she can access the benefits she earned. so let me just seine -- synthesize this story. here she is. she was drugged, raped, left on the ground. as a result of the allegations against her attacker, she was drummed out of the military and denied any benefits, and she is appealing this and we hope she will make progress on that appeal. her accuser gets out of the military scot-free, right? now, i want to point out, mr. president, that half of the estimated 26,000 victims of military sexual assault are men, so i'd like to share the story
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of armando javier. armando was serving the marine corps in 1993. let's put up the don't filibuster justice. here. i want you to see this. armando was serving in the marine corps in 1993 when he was brutally raped and assaulted by a group of fellow marines. ashamed and fearing for his life, kept his rape a secret for 15 years. when armando finally found the courage to share his story with a friend he decided to write it down and i'd like to read you some of his words. quote -- "my experience left me torn apart physically, mentally and spiritually. i was dehumanized. i was treated with ultimate cruelty by my perpetrators. i was embarrassed and ashamed and i didn't know what to do. i was young at the time, and being part of an elite organization that values brotherhood, integrity and
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faithfulness made it hard to come forward and reveal what happened. now it's two decades later and no one has been held accountable for the heinous crime. the perpetrators are still out there able to commit these crimes again and again." mr. president, 90% of assaults are not reported. and there's thousands of these assaults, we think 26,000, we think that's even a conservative number. so think about how many perpetrators are out there. in the military. and then they get out of the military and then they continue. here's a story of aryana clay. she graduated from the u.s. naval academy, she deployed to iraq in 2008. following her return, aryana was selected to serve at the marine barracks in washington, d.c., a very prestigious post. right down here.
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it's down the street. at the marine barracks, arianna was you subjected to constant sexual harassment and when she tried to report it to her chain of command, she was told -- and i quote -- "deal with it." deal with it. deal with it. in august, 2010, aryana was gang raped by a senior marine officer and his friend at her home. aryana bravely reported the assault but a marine corps investigation determined she had welcomed the harassment because she wore makeup and exercised in shorts and tank tops. well, finally the marine corps did court-martial one of her rapists, but failed to convict him of rape. instead, he was convicted of adultery and indecent language.
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aryana's husband is a former marine corps officer. he joined her at a recent press conference about the importance of changing how the military handles sexual assault. i'd like to read to you what arianna's husband said. he is a former marine corps officer. quote -- "the first step to addressing sexual assault in the military is to remove its prosecution from the chain of command. it is unfair to expect commanders to be able to maintain good order and discipline as long as their justice system incentive eyes and empowers them to deny their unit's worst disciplinary failures ever happened." here is a former marine corps officer who says the first step is to remove the prosecution of these crimes from the chain of command. so we now see the whole story.
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and we're going to go through these charts again. sadly, senator gillibrand's bill which will finally take the prosecution of these assaults outside the chain of command, keep it in the military, give it to the trained prosecutors, it's being filibustered by my colleagues. filibustered by my colleagues. don't you think we should have a vote on justice here, without having to set up a 60-vote threshold? i want to say to my colleagues none of whom are here now, i understand, it's really late. don't filibuster justice. you want to vote against the gillibrand approach, vote against it but allow us an up-or-down vote. don't filibuster justice. that is wrong. and anyone who does that ought to lose some sleep over it flawnl, frankly. because i'll tell you if we get
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very close but we can't have an up-or-down vote but we get in the high 50's, this change is coming. but why not make the change now? i want to tell you by holding up these charts to remind you of what i said, that you're looking at these magnificent men and women in the military who are innocent, who joined the military out of love of country, devotion to country, put their lives on the line, and then one in five women are getting either assaulted or getting harassed, and many, many men, 50% of the 26,000 cases are men. who have an even harder time of stepping up to the plate and admitting that this happened. you have commanders who are making decisions choosing between two people in their unit
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like a c.e.o. determining whether or not he or she is going to prosecute a case or a united states senator saying you know what, it's a he said/she said, i'll decide who's telling the truth. wrong. that is not just justice in america. that should not be justice anywhere on our streets and it should not be justice in the military. look at that face. this is a woman who was destroyed, who i stood next to and had to hold her hand so she could actually get the words out. but because of senator gillibrand's bill, she's empowered to speak out. because of a movie called "invisible war" which focused on people coming forward and telling the truth, she's empowered. now we have to change the way the military handles this,
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mr. president, or we're just a bunch of folks who come out here and sound great. no, it's time to change. it's time to change. mr. president, 26,000 cases of sexual assault occurred in 2012. 26,000 cases. 1.2% were prosecuted. this is an absolute disgrace on its face, and anyone who won't make the changes required is accepting this. because all they're doing is tinkering around the edges. it doesn't help. because that's all we've done for years. the moment of truth is coming in the united states senate, and it's coming tomorrow and around 2:00 -- 2:00.
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people have to decide if they're going to filibuster the gillibrand bill and filibuster justice. they're going to have to decide that. we have been listening to words and promises and baloney for 20-odd years. i was here all that time. i know. it's a long time ago. i was here after tailhook. oh, this will never happen, dick cheney, no, won't happen. then we heard it from william perry, bill connecticut, gates, panetta, chuck hagel. i think they meant it when they said no more, zero tolerance. but they won't step up and support the change that needs to be made. we made a lot of changes in the military. they used to, you know, many, many years ago they -- they wouldn't allow blacks and whites to fight side by side. those days, thank god, are over. gays in the military, oh, my
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god, that was going to be her risk and hurt morale. that, thank god, is over but the military fought it tooth and nail day in and day out. and this is just part of the pattern. they protect the status quo. and so i'll conclude with this. put this in your mind. there is no place for a filibuster when it comes to justice. if you don't like the gillibrand bill, then vote no on it, but give us a chance to vote up or down. i'm going to vote to allow a vote on gillibrand and i'm going to vote to allow a vote on mccaskill. i asked the mccaskill people to please join us. let us have an up-or-down vote. i honestly know in my heart that
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these opportunities to make change don't come along very often. and this is our moment. we have -- we have all the facts on our side. we have every victims' rights group, every survivor group on our side. we know the status quo is dangerous. and i just want to say about my colleague, senator gillibrand, how proud i am to stand with her. what an amazing senator she is. she listens to advice from both sides of the aisle, her bill reflects comments that were made by myself, by senator paul, both sides of the aisle, senator hirono. people were so happy to sit and
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work with her and our staff, and now we're down to the wire. and to see people tell me to my face, oh, yeah, i'm going to filibuster this because really i don't like it. if you don't like it, then vote no. but give us a chance to vote up or down. and it's interesting because many of the same people that are going to filibuster this tell me they want to do away with the filibuster altogether. it's odd. they want to do away with it but not on this one. so at the moment of truth and tomorrow senator eligible will lead us in our hour of time that we have, senator mccaskill will have -- offer her views of negativity on the gillibrand bill, senator gillibrand will support both bills as will i. and i just truly pray tonight
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that people will think about this and people will think think about stacey and people will think about the men and women who have come forward in such a difficult situation to open up their heart, to talk about things that have been kept a secret for so long because they honestly think it will help bring about changes. and if we don't allow a vote on that change, then i'm afraid that this senate will not look very good when we wake up the next morning. thank you very much, mr. president. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid:: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call addition are we in a quorum call. the presiding officer: we are. mr. reid: i ask consent is it be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate resume legislative session and proceed to a period of morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 373. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 373, recognizing the importance of biosecurity and agro defense in the united states. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table and there be no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 374.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 374, designating march 3, 2014, as world wildlife day. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i'm told that s. 27 -- 2077 is due for its second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 2077, a bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits and for other purposes. mr. reid: i would object to any further proceedings with respect to this. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: pardon me, mr. president, for interrupting you. i understand that h.r. 3370 is
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here and action should be taken on that. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: h.r. 3370, an act to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the biggert-waters flood insurance reform act of 2012 and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i would ask for a second reading but object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be read for the second time on the next legislative day. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that rosy goshinski, who's a fellow? senator hirono's office, be granted floor privileges for this year. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. that following the prayer and the pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date,
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time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 10:30 with senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. following morning business, the senate proceed to executive session under the previous order. upon disposition of the roth nomination and resumption of legislative session, the senate execute the previous order with respect to s. 1752 and s. 1917. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: there will be up to three roll call votes at 11:20 tomorrow and up to four roll call votes around 2:00 p.m. we also hope to consider additional nominations tomorrow, which could require roll call votes f. there's no further business to come before the -- votes. if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
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this is one of our favorite times as he spent only get announced the winners of our annual student documentary contest called studentcam. the 2014 theme for students who are interested in entering is what's the most important issue that congress should consider in 2014. this year we received a record number of entries, 2355 entries that came from 46 states part of the district of columbia from taiwan students all around the country and some internationally. altogether 4816 middle and high school students participated this year either individually or on teams. one of the things i was special about this year's contest is that we doubled the number of prizes and the amount of prize money. he went from a 50,000-dollar contest to us giving away $100,000 in prizes. that meant 150 for student documentary and sticky prices for teachers and they will also
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be 97 students who receive honorable mention. the grand prize this year $5000 for the winning entry. there are now three first-place high school entries divided regionally and each one of those top winners in the regions will receive $3000. there was won first place at the middle school level also receiving $3000. one of the reasons we do this is to hear what's on the minds of young people and the topics that students choose are a good way to measure what they are thinking about. here is the list of the top categories, the top issues are received from students. number one kids are thinking about the economy and they told us about this in their message to congress in their documentaries. second was gun legislation. third on the minds of students this year by the number of entrants are received with education and education issues. the next in line were documentaries about the environment in the next after that immigration. so we are going to tell you about the grand prizewinners this year.
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it was a team and their topic was called "earth first, fracking second". it was a three-person team from long beach polytechnic high school in long beach california. they are served via charter communications and a the three team members in that group emma larson, michaela capps and sarah highducheck. we will be talking by phone with one of the three members of the team emma larson right now. what was your reaction when you heard your team won the grand prize this year? >> we were absolutely shocked. we were all in the room and we looked across at one another and we all could not believe it. >> would the finished the documentary did you have a sense of how good it was? >> no, we did not. >> tell me how you got interested in the contest in the first place? who introduced you to at? >> are ninth-grade government teacher doesn't project as required for all students to complete. >> how did your team come together? were you able to serve on teams
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or did the teacher assigned them? >> we got to pick our teams and we chose other people we have known for a few years. we knew that we worked well together. >> one you joined forces with mikayla and sarah had any of you done documentaries before? >> no. >> how did you learn how to do them? >> we watched a lot of videos about how to make the documentaries and things like that. >> how did you choose the topic? >> we chose a topic about completing current events and i read an article in "the new york times" about fracking and was immediately interested and a couple of weeks later we saw in our local newspaper another article about fracking and it's happening two miles away from us. and we thought that was crazy. once you research about it becomes a fascinating topic. >> long beach has long had an oil industry because it's a big
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port and there are also a lot of oil drilling so you were surprised to find out fracking was happening there as well? >> yeah trita thing about fracking is its unregulated so there are no techniques and water testing testing and that'y dangerous. >> is that the primary thing you learned when you research tracking? >> yes. >> what ultimately is the message that you would like to have congress hear from the three of you as young people about fracking? >> our country has a problem and that problem is the regulation of hydraulic fracking. we want them to keep in mind that fracking is great for the country and there's huge economic potential but it has to be regulated and safe. >> one of the things that's important to the studentcam competition is to show both sides of the issue and you reference the fact that there is a great economic and if it so give the people listening today a sense of why the economic aspects of this are important so you feel we have to get the
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regulation right. >> according to a research published fracking will create 3.5 million jobs by 2020. that's a huge number and that can do great things for our country. we are in middle of economic at times and fracking in the oil industry could pull us out of that. >> who is the most interesting person you interviewed for the project? >> carrie greenwood a farmer and his story about how fracking has affected his life and the people he knows. >> how did you find a farmer in pennsylvania when you live in california? >> we riche urged people that were affected by fracking and his name kept coming up. he had done so many interviews and youtube videos and he's an expert on the subject. >> what you plan to do next with what you have learned from the videography part are from the fracking lessons? >> hopefully we can talk to the
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local city officials and our city and have them regulate the fracking that is happening. >> two last questions for you. what are you planning to do with the $5000 how did your school. >> we are putting that toward a trip that the three of us will go on after we graduate from high school. our school is recognizing us, they get the money to spend on video cameras for next year and everyone is very excited. >> , congratulations to you to michaela and sarah for your national grand prizewinners studentcam 2014. we are proud of you and we are proud of all the students that enter. we got some great entries this year but it was terrific that your team was chosen as number one. congratulations to you. >> thank you very much. >> lets tell you a little bit more about the other winners that were chosen but before we do that to give you a sense of what the grand prize was was
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like in comparison to them let's watch. >> dear congress. >> dear congress. >> your congress. hydraulic fracturing is really important for the growth of our economy. but if you want the critical support of the american people some things need to change. you need to investigate the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on seismic activity and the use of recycled water instead of fresh water. you need to mandate testing of water near fracking sites and you need to ensure the safe transportation of fracks oil and gas. most importantly the haliburton loophole needs to be closed and you need to require public disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids. >> either farmed, 60 acres with no water on it. they don't care. if they spell it they say oh it's not our problem. where exams. they should take the exemptions off the table.
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>> just a short limps of the studentcam winning documentary this year, "earth first, fracking second" with a team of ninth-graders from long beach california. as i mentioned there are many many winners across the united states and again this year we did three regional winners at the high school level so we will tell you more about who won the top prices for high school. getting with the top prize in high school west diagnosing the problem and the winners there are shelley ortiz, nina nan dean and hannah hood 12th grade in phoenix arizona where they are served by cox and medications. that's a topic of mental health diagnosis and treatment as their message to congress. the first race winner we the people genetically modified.
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andrew is the winner there, tenth grade at notre dame cathedral latin high high school in charden ohio time time warner cable as their supplier. next is first prize in high school east, murky future and that's a team of tenth-graders from montgomery blair high school in the washington d.c. area actually silver spring maryland. they are served by comcast. their topic is water pollution and the first prize and there's only one of these at the middle school level is on the nsa. that was done by a team of eighth-graders from eastern middle school in silver spring maryland and the d.c. suburbs. they are comcast cable and theirs was on the big debate over government surveillance. we congratulate all the entrance to studentcam. all the students worked very hard and in our minds all of them are winners but those that actually claim the prices are available for you to see on our studentcam web site
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www.studentcam.org. >> democratic senator tom harkin spoke on the senate floor after members locked the nomination of of -- to the justice department. this is 10 minutes. >> earlier today a vote was taken in the united states senate that to this senator marked about the lowest point that i think this senate has ascended into in my 30 years here.
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i was here during the impeachment process trial for president clinton. i thought that was a sham but that didn't compare what happened today. the vote to assistant attorney general for civil rights sent a strong message. here is the message we sent today. you young people listen up. if you are ayaan white person and you go to work for a law firm you are a lawyer sworn into the r. and you work for a young young -- law firm and that assigns you to a pro bono case to defend someone who killed eight people in cold lead.
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and they assigned you to defend that person. my advice from what happened today is you should do that as part of your legal obligation, part of your purpose. because if you do that who knows you might wind up to be the chief justice of united's state supreme court. however, if you are a young black person and you go to work for the naacp legal defense fund and they assign you under your obligations as an attorney in keeping with your oath of offico appeal a case of someone who committed a heinous murder and you do that and you sign your name on the appeal not that you
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are defending this person, you have never done that but they ask you to sign on an appeal and you do that. and you are asked to do that if you are a young black kirson and work for the naacp legal offense offense -- defense fund and you are asked to sign an appeal for someone convicted of murder but the message said today is don't do it. don't do it because too you know what? if you do that, in keeping with your legal obligations in your profession you will be denied to the u.s. senate from being an attorney in the u.s. department of justice. i guess what i'm saying is we have sent a message that we have a double standard, a terrible double standard. the chief justice of the supreme court defended a mass murderer in florida that committed eight
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murders. he is the chief justice of the supreme court. did we hear one peep from the republican side from anyone? no one on the senate floor at that time raise that as any issue at all for his qualification to be on the appeals court or to be the chief justice of the supreme court. and rightfully so. it should never have been an issue. he was fulfilling his legal obligations. yes, his moral duty aside from his legal duty. but debo adegbile working as an attorney for the naacp defense fund he wasn't even asked to defend the murder. he was just asked to join on an appeal to sign an appeal on a technicality and he did. and because of that and only because of that he was excoriated here on the senate
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floor and denied, denied his opportunity to be an assistant attorney general for civil rights. did anyone raise that issue of his qualifications? no. he is definitely qualified. that person after person who spoke about the heinous murder that took place in philadelphia, the murder of a police officer by yet a young black man who bragged about it, a heinous and horrible crime. debo adegbile did not defend him and didn't even know this guy. and yet i listened to the this senator from pennsylvania this morning had a big poster here with a picture of the police officer and his wife on their wedding day talking about how horrible the crime was in the murder had bragged about it and
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all that terrible stuff. it had nothing to do with debo adegbile but the senator from pennsylvania said that is why he should not be approved to be an assistant attorney general because he signed an appeal. what about that guy sitting over there the chief justice of the supreme court that defended a person who killed eight people? maybe we should institute an impeachment process. maybe that is what we ought to do. maybe my friends on the republican side did not know this about john roberts, that he defended a mass murderer. maybe that is what we have to do. bring up and impeachment process. let's impeach the justice because he had fulfilled his legal obligation to defend a murderer. well i hope that you see the ridiculousness of that argument.
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and how unfair it was for debo adegbile to be denied this not on the basis of any qualifications. i have not heard one person say he is unqualified or he has done something that would disqualify him. no, he did what he was supposed to do within his legal profession. and he was denied. shame on this senate. shame on this senate by anyone who claims to be a lawyer, sworn in and shane -- by the bar who voted against mr. adegbile because he did on that appeal because of the fact that he had signed the deal. now, if somebody had some
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question about his qualifications and that he is totally unqualified for this, that's a totally different story. that's a different story. i challenge anyone to come forward with anything remotely, remotely connected to his qualifications that would show him disqualified. let me read and i will close shortly, a quote from the president of the american bar bar association. listen up lawyers. quote, a fundamental tenet of our justice system and our constitution is that anyone who faces loss of memory has a right to legal counsel. lawyers have an ethical obligation to uphold that principle and provide zealous representation to people who otherwise would stand alone against the power and resources of the government. even those accused or convicted of terrible crimes.
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i was alarmed to learn that there was some opposition to mr. adegbile's nomination based solely on his efforts to protect the fundamental rights of an unpopular client while working at the legal defense fund. his work like the work of ada members who provide thousands of hours of pro bono legal work every year is consistent with the finest commission of this country's legal profession and should be commended, not condemned unquote. shameful, shameful vote today. a rush to judgment based upon the motion, based upon emotion. i will not name any names but i had one senator tell me that my head tells me he should be confirmed but my emotions say no. we make our decisions a stone that around here? god help us. god help us.
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maybe we have to all go back and watch that movie again "to kill a mockingbird". read the book, watch the movie. and know what it is to stand up against the powers of the government and defend someone who is unpopular. and mr. adegbile didn't even do that and he was not the defense attorney. he was only on appeal so shame on the fraternal order of the police, shame on them. shame on them for doing this. shame on them. they mounted a campaign against mr. adegbile just on that one thing. shame on all of us here especially the lawyers, especially the lawyers. well, it was a rush to judgment, a shameful episode in the history of united states senate.
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i know senator reid filed a motion to reconsider. i hope he will and i hope people will prey on this and think back especially to the lawyers who are here. think about the ethical obligation, the ethical obligation he had to do what he did and he did nothing wrong. hopefully mr. adegbile on a motion to reconsider will have the votes to take his position as assistant attorney general for civil rights and the justice department. a shameful day for the united states senate. i yield the four. i yield the floor.
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>> we do not have a criminal investigation role. we have a fast enforcement role one of the most critical things agency does is to enforce the security laws. we also write the rules by the way for wall street and broker-dealers and investment advisers but we don't have the criminal authority. we have the power to bring the approval of our commission civil actions, civil fraud actions and negligence actions against those who violate the federal securities law so we can't send anybody to jail but we can assess civil penalties. frankly our level of penalties isn't as high as we would like to be and there's legislation congress to give us an ability to assess higher penalties. we can require those who commit wrongdoings to

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